“Wow, this is pretty.” the lady said sarcastically, as her family walked underneath I4 on their way to watch the Cure Bowl at Exploria Stadium.
I thought it was a pretty rotten thing to say, but it was real and she was right. It’s an ugly sight at the moment.
Right now, as you march down Church Street on your way to the Amway Center and Exploria Stadium, you have to dodge traffic as you cross a dangerous Garland intersection, and try to avoid catching a sharp object on the bottom of your shoe as you make your way pass the I4.
During your march, you’re surrounded by heavy construction and barricades. If it’s been raining, you’ll do plenty of puddle jumping and have to dodge runoff leaking from above to get to your destination.
Orlando leaders need to do something about this now. They can’t wait until the project is completed in another 18 to 24 months.
Because, this isn’t just a scar seen by Orlando residents. This is an introduction to the other half of our downtown. The part that actually hosts the majority of the events we pay millions to try and attract.
It’s a terrible impression to make as visitors make their way to the venues, and they’ll get a second reminder as they head back to their cars or go out to eat after their events. The least we could do is close the street and wrap the dividers. Perhaps push those dumpsters further away from the walkways.
The sad part is that we have the money to make the improvements, but time and time again we’ve seen our elected officials give millions more to tourism executives for their salaries and not for important cosmetic fixes like this one.
So nothing will probably happen.
Instead, tens of thousands of people will have their stroll down one of Orlando’s most well known streets interrupted by a dangerous pedestrian crossing and an unsightly tetanus risk.
The City Beautiful. Except for that 100 yard stretch.